WCOOP 2016: llJaYJaYll dominates, earns $1.5 million for Main Event victory (Event #78, $5,000 NL Hold'em Main Event)

A thrilling, three-day ride came to a close tonight as Germany's llJaYJaYll defeated 2,091 runners to win the 2016 WCOOP Main Event and a life-changing $1,517,541.25. It capped off a record-setting series, with $73,504,875.79 in prize money awarded across 82 events. llJaYJaYll had his work cut out for him at the final table, where he came in as the third-shortest stack and quickly fell to only nine big blinds. However, he picked up pocket aces in two crucial spots to survive and eventually wrested away the chip lead from uknowProsky*. Two attempts at deal negotiations failed, one five-handed and one four-handed, before llJaYJaYll really started using his stack size to put pressure on his remaining opponents. He took control of the table with four players remaining and was up to 50 million in chips when 0409479 knocked out Gambler4444 and moved up to a strong second with 43 million. Two hands later, llJaYJaYll eliminated R_Scientist in third and got heads-up with 0409479 at a 1.5 to 1 chip advantage. The two battled it out for over an hour, the lead changing several times before llJaYJaYll came away with the win and became PokerStars' 15th WCOOP Main Event champion.

From 2,091 to 9

It took three days to get here, so let's rewind to Sunday morning when this journey began. Six hours of late registration and one-entry per player was available to this year's WCOOP Main Event contenders and when all was said and done, the field topped out at 2,091 entries (1,772 unique players and 319 re-entries). 224 players earned a share of the $10,052,879.79 prize pool with a staggering $1,517,541.25 set aside for the champion. Making this final table guaranteed a six-figure score and a the top two would be poker-made millionaires.

Day 1 went for 21 levels and reduced the field from 2,091 to 309. The overnight chip leader was Austira's axtipitos_86 (Spoiler Alert: he went on to make the final table) with 1,547,420 in chips. Three Red Spades were still in the hunt at the end of Day 1-- ElkY, Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur, and Aditya Agarwal.

The money bubble hit about two hours after action resumed on Day 2. ElkY was unfortunately one of the short stacks in danger, but when he picked up A♠K♦ under-the-gun, he open-shoved for his last 3BB. The action folded around to 2013 WCOOP Main Event champion PlayinWasted in the big blind, who called with 6♦8♣. It was curtains for ElkY as PlayinWasted paired his six on the Q♣9♦6♥ flop and turned the 6♣ to make trips, ending ElkY's Main Event run in 226th place... only two spots from the money. Moments later, official bubble boy honors went to I am Bobbie, who got the rest of his chips in with K♦K♥ vs. 9♦9♠, only to watch in horror as a nine hit the flop. Ouch.

By the time the field was down to four tables, axtipitos_86 still held the chip lead, with Eugene "MyRabbiFoo" Katchalov hot on his heels. Meanwhile, Andrew "SupaJah" Horinov was streaming his deep run live on the VIPGrinders Twitch channel. It came to an end in 34th place when his pocket threes lost a race to axtipitos_86's A♠K♥.

Some other notable deep runs included Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth (56th), Team PokerStars Online's Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur (55th), Dan "djk123" Kelly (51st), Scott "gunning4you" Seiver (48th), Ludovic "ludovi333" Geilich (43rd), Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (39th), Elio "smokrokflock" Fox (37th), Nico "PKaiser" Fierro (32nd), Thiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima (23rd), Daniel "Oxota" Dvoress (22nd), and Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal (16th).

WSOP and WPT champion Eugene "MyRabbiFoo" Katchalov was humming along with an average stack until he was crippled in a hand vs. Olorionek. Katchalov's A♥J♥ made trips on the J♠J♦8♦ flop, but the T♣ turn gave Olorionek a queen-high straight. When the 2♠ peeled off on the river, Olorionek checked to Katchalov, who moved all-in for his remaining 3.3 million. Olorionek called all-in for slightly less and took down the 9.7 million pot with Q♦9♠. Katchalov was left with only 1.5 big blinds and was eliminated in 12th place on the next hand.

myrabbifoo_wcoop.JPGEugene "MyRabbiFoo" Katchalov, 12th place

The blinds were up to 150,000/300,000 on the final table bubble when the action folded around to uknowProsky* in the small blind. He jammed for over 27.1 million with 3♦3♠. JLlama looked down at K♠8♠ and decided it was the right spot to call off his remaining 4.73 million. It was a coinflip with a spot at the final table on the line, and uknowProsky*'s threes held up on the T♥7♣6♣5♣2♥ board. As JLlama departed on the final table bubble, play was suspended for the night. The final nine were to return in twelve hours' time to play down to a winner. All of them were guaranteed a six-figure score for their efforts, with $5,223,567.52 to be distributed among them at the final table.

2016_WCOOP_ME_FT.jpg

Final table chip counts

Seat 1: axtipitos_86 (7,204,866 in chips)
Seat 2: uknowProsky* (32,394,653 in chips)
Seat 3: R_Scientist (9,941,182 in chips)
Seat 4: Olorionek (5,790,902 in chips)
Seat 5: llJaYJaYll (8,399,322 in chips)
Seat 6: deadfizh (5,725,934 in chips)
Seat 7: Gambler4444 (16,852,159 in chips)
Seat 8: 0409479 (10,694,026 in chips)
Seat 9: gorodski (7,546,956 in chips)

llJaYJaYll on the ropes, R_Scientist makes gains

The final table commenced at 2pm ET on Tuesday and was streamed live on the PokerStars Twitch channel, with Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin and Team PokerStars Pro Online's Kevin Martin supplying commentary.

celina_kevin_twitch_WCOOP_ME.jpgCelina Lin and Kevin Martin call the action on Twitch

Early on, llJaYJaYll ran into trouble. Although he got his money in good with A♣K♥ vs. Olorionek's A♠Q♦, a river queen spiked to double the short stack to 11.3 million. llJaYJaYll was left with 2.8 million, little more than nine big blinds.

R_Scientist also had a close call after getting the rest of his chips in the middle with Q♥Q♠ on a 7♣6♣5♣ flop. Chip leader uknowProsky* had A♣T♠ for the nut flush draw, but missed when the 9♦ and the 9♥ finished out the board. A relieved R_Scientist doubled up as uknowProsky* teased:

uknowProsky*: running around in the room scientist ?
uknowProsky*: u were almost out of here ;)

llJaYJaYll doubles with aces

The blinds were up to 175,000,350,000 when llJaYJaYll was dealt the perfect hand at the perfect time. He three-bet shoved for 3.31 million with A♠A♥, Gambler4444 cold four-bet to 5.74 million and initial raiser uknowProsky* got out of the way. Gambler4444 turned over Q♦Q♥ and a king-high board gave llJaYJaYll a crucial double-up to 8.4 million... virtually what he began the final table with, as he noted.

llJaYJaYll: lets start from the begining

deadfizh out in ninth, uknowProsky* picks off gorodski in eighth

Instead, it was deadfizh who was first shown the door. Following an 875,000 opening raise from uknowProsky*, deadfizh moved all-in for 6.16 million from middle position and axtipitos_86 reshoved for 7.47 million from the big blind. UknowProsky* folded and the cards went on their backs, deadfizh's 9♠9♥ up against Q♠Q♥. The queens reigned on the K♥T♣5♥5♠4♥ board and deadfizh departed in ninth place.

Deadfizh's exit left gorodski as the table short stack. Although he was able to double to 4.24 milion when his A♠K♦ flopped an ace vs. llJaYJaYll's pocket queens, he wouldn't survive another all-in. With K♦Q♦, he open-shoved from the hijack and uknowProsky* called with A♠J♦ on the button. Ace-high was good on the 6♣6♠6♥7♣5♣ board and gorodski hit the rail in eighth place.

uknowProsky* goes from chip leader to the rail

UknowProsky* was still hanging on to the chip lead seven-handed, although Gambler4444 was quickly gaining on him. llJaYJaYll was sitting on 9.55 million, about 24 big blinds, when he found A♣A♥ again and opened for 900,000 from UTG. UknowProsky* three-bet to 2.38 million, llJaYJaYll shoved and uknowProsky* called with J♦J♣. llJaYJaYll's aces held up when the board ran out 9♠7♥6♦Q♦2♥ and he doubled to 20 million, knocking uknowProsky* out of the top spot.

UknowProsky* sank to 11.5 million after that hand and was down to only 5 million when he made a button shove for his last 12.5 big blinds with Q♦5♦. R_Scientist called from the big blind with A♣J♠, but uknowProsky* hit a queen on the flop and doubled to 10.7 million. A few hands later uknowProsky* pulled the trigger again and open-shoved from middle position with pocket fours. llJaYJaYll called from the small blind with A♣Q♠. The fours were good on the J♣9♥7♣ flop, but the 9♣ turn gave llJaYJaYll a flush draw. He filled it with the 2♣ on the river and uknowProsky*, who arrived at the final table as the chip leader, was suddenly on the rail in seventh place.

llJaYJaYll takes the lead

llJaYJaYll now held that position with 34.7 million and was ready to celebrate.

"2nd beer," he wrote in the chat box, while presumably cracking open a cold one.

Axtipitos_86 topped the field at the end of Day 1 and rode that big stack all the way to the final table, but a cruel cooler dealt him a huge setback. With the blinds up to 250,000/500,000, Gambler4444 opened for 1.1 million and axtipitos_86 three-bet to 3.5 million with A♠A♥. R_Scientist four-bet shoved for 8.5 million and once Gambler4444 got out of the way, axtipitos_86 called. R_Scientist turned over K♥K♠. The aces were good through the turn on a 7♥4♠3♠9♦ board when R_Scientist spiked his two-outer on the river with the K♣ and doubled to 18.5 million.

Axtipitos_86 was down but not out, but two hands later Olorionek three-bet shoved preflop for 8.86 million and R_Scientist called. Olorionek's A♣8♦ did not improve against A♠J♣ on the Q♥9♠5♠9♦T♥ board and he went out in sixth place.

Five-handed deal fail

Shortly after five-handed play was reached, everyone agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time, along with their corresponding ICM share. $201,057.60 (2% of the overall prize pool) would remain on the table for the eventual winner:

R_Scientist

31,505,273

$972,815.45

llJaYJaYll

27,254,356

$932,800.13

0409479

18,665,743

$827,742.21

Gambler4444

15,131,662

$771,571.36

axtipitos_86

11,992,966

$712,896.01

llJaYJaYll was clear from the start that he wanted to see the short stacks give up some money. Once the numbers were delivered, llJaYJaYll said he wanted $980k... over $47k more than ICM. 0409479 agreed to give up $10k, but R_Scientist quickly shut it down, declaring "Let's play."

Cards went back in the air, the blinds now up to 300,000/600,000. Only a few hands passed before llJaYJaYll opened A♣J♣ for 1,350,000 and axtipitos_86 moved all-in for 11.53 million. llJaYJaYll called and axtipitos_86 revealed T♣T♠. It was heartbreak for axtipitos_86 as the board ran out 6♠5♣2♦8♠A♦, the river ace sending him to the rail in fifth place.

Four-handed deal...almost?

Four-handed play continued for another five minutes before Gambler4444 three-bet shoved for 10 million from the small blind with A♠J♦ and R_Scientist called with K♣Q♣. Gambler4444's ace-high held up and he doubled to 20.9 million. That's when 0409479
piped up and asked if they were willing to take another run at making a deal. Although llJaYJaYll warned that he was still looking for more than ICM, everyone clicked the button and the action paused again.

llJaYJaYll

43,513,222

$1,086,022.61

R_Scientist

21,147,711

$913,214.03

Gambler4444

20,798,324

$909,170.29

0409479

19,090,743

$888,529.29

This time, Gambler4444 and R_Scientist quickly agreed to the ICM numbers. llJaYJaYll said he'd be good if each of them gave up $15k. Gambler4444 agreed to it, but 0409479 and R_Scientist were only willing to part with $7k apiece. llJaYJaYll said his last offer was $10k apiece for a total of $30k extra, to which 0409479 pointed out... he was nearly all the way there.

llJaYJaYll: 10k each is my very last offer
0409479: you are getting 29k now
0409479: 7 7 15

llJaYJaYll thought for a while, but decided to play it out instead. With no deal in place, action resumed.

After only a few hands, R_Scientist piped up that his backer was OK with him giving up $10k. However, llJaYJaYll's demands had increased in the interim.

R_Scientist: staker agrees to give up 10k, if u guys want to deal
llJaYJaYll: no i want 15 each now

0409479 moves into second position, Gambler4444 and R_Scientist fall

Imbued with confidence, llJaYJaYll ran his stack up to 50 million before the balance at this final table shifted significantly. llJaYJaYll opened for 1.35 million from UTG, Gambler4444 called on the button and 0409479 moved all-in for 16.9 million from the small blind. llJaYJaYll folded and Gambler4444 called, his 9♥9♦ up against A♠Q♣. Gambler4444 retained the lead on the 8♠4♠3♦ flop, but 0409479 hit the A♣ on the turn to make top pair. The river was the 5♦ and 0409470 scored a huge double-up to 36 million, leaving Gambler4444 on only 5.62 million (8BB).

Gambler4444 doubled back up to 12.2 million when he called llJaYJaYll 's small blind shove with Q♠9♥ and llJaYJaYll turned over Q♦7♣. Then, with 8.6 million left and the blinds up to 350,000/700,000, he moved in from UTG with 9♦T♦. 0409479 called with A♣K♦ and made top pair on the K♠J♣2♠6♣5♣ board, ending Gambler4444's run in fourth place. This topped off an incredible WCOOP for Gambler4444, who cashed 13 times and made three final tables-- fourth here, fifth in Event #24 ($530 NLHE) and fifth in Event #64 ($320 H.O.R.S.E.).

Two hands later, llJaYJaYll opened for 1,575,000 with pocket eights and R_Scientist moved all-in for 12.6 million from the big blind. llJaYJaYll called and R_Scientist revealed K♠J♥. The eights held up on the T♦6♥3♠2♣5♠ board and R_Scientist was eliminated in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 5: llJaYJaYll (61,986,141 in chips)
Seat 8: 0409479 (42,563,859 in chips)

llJaYJaYll and 0409479 played heads-up for over an hour. Although llJaYJaYll started off with a 1.5 to 1 chip advantage, 0409479 quickly closed the gap when his K♦J♥ flopped middle pair on a Q♦J♣3♥4♣3♣ board. 0409479 got two streets of value on the turn and river and moved up to 50.2 million. A few minutes later, he moved into the chip lead when he flopped and open-ender and rivered an eight-high straight. llJaYJaYll paid him off on the river and fell to 47.3 million, while 0409479 moved up to 57.2 million.

0409079 started pulling away and was up to 71.4 million when llJaYJaYll started mounting a comeback. He retook the lead on a hand where he called 0409479's preflop raise and check-called every street on a T♣6♣5♥4♥J♣ board. 0409479 fired three times with only K♣7♥ and llJaYJaYll took it down with J♥6♥ for two pair.

llJaYJaYll moved back up to 67.6 million after that hand and climbed as high as 75.25 million before 0409479 once again closed the gap. The two were almost dead even, llJaYJaYll holding 51.9 million to 0409479's 52.7 million when the pot of the tournament unfolded.

llJaYJaYll opened for 2.25 million on the button, 0409479 three-bet to 6.5 million, llJaYJaYll four-bet to 12.8 million, 0409479 shoved and llJaYJaYll called all-in.

llJaYJaYll A♠K♣
0409479 A♥Q♣

"Get your cookie jars out," declared llJaYJaYll as a king hit the flop. 0409479 found no salvation on the K♦5♦2♣7♥8♦ board and was left with only 774,678 in chips-- less than one big blind.

0409479 open-shoved on the next hand with 4♠8♣ and llJaYJaYll called with A♣7♣. There would be no miracle comeback for 0409479 as the board ran out K♥5♣4♣5♥K♠ and llJaYJaYll was crowned the 2016 WCOOP Main Event champion.

Congratulations to Germany's llJaYJaYll on an absolutely stunning performance! He earned $1,517,541.25 for his efforts. 0409479 came away a millionaire as well, with a $1,101,278.90 score for his runner-up finish.

Thanks so much for joining us for another year of WCOOP coverage. To find all the results from this year's series, check out the WCOOP page.

wcoop_redspade.jpg

WCOOP-78 ($5,000 NL Hold'em Main Event) results
Total entries: 2,091 (1,772 entries, 319 re-entries)
Prize pool: $10,052,879.79
Places paid: 224

1. llJaYJaYll (Germany) $1,517,541.25
2. 0409479 (United Kingdom) $1,101,278.90
3. R_Scientist (United Kingdom) $799,196.90
4. Gambler4444 (Austria) $579,976.77
5. axtipitos_86 (Austria) $420,888.94
6. Olorionek (Poland) $305,439.66
7. uknowProsky* (Netherlands) $221,656.95
8. gorodski (Malta) $160,856.12
9. deadfizh (Finland) $116,733.03

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